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Tuesday 22 May 2012 | Published in Regional


There was nothing slow and steady about yesterday’s opening games of the inaugural Cook Islands Rugby League Masters tournament as players put their knees and bodies on the line.

Four Cook Islands teams and two international squads are competing in the mini tournament and reliving their glory days.

The first game yesterday afternoon in Ngatangiia was between the Cook Islands Central Chiefs team and visiting Australian team Nga Tama.

From the sideline, it looked like the Nga Tama side, sporting a couple of familiar local faces, were playing better rugby league even though they seemed to have more red and gold short players on side.

Nga Tama ran in a couple of beauty tries while the Central Chiefs were still trying to find their form, although there were some big runs by the Chiefs’ Willie Hagai and Johnny Hosking.

The Rutaki Sharks, known for their fast pass and sharp bite, took on Takitumu before the Mongoose club of Avatiu faced the Otara Scorpions from New Zealand. The masters get a rest day today before round two of games are played on Wednesday at Nikao and the final day of games on Friday at Tupapa.

A reminder to all players to wear correct shorts otherwise you will not be allowed to participate in the game and especially the tournament.

The public is invited to attend the games and cheer on the papas.

Cook Islands Rugby League Masters tournament draw: Round 2, Wednesday, May 23 at Nikao Field: 3pm - Mongoose v Nga Tama (Australia); 4pm - Central Chiefs v Rutaki Sharks; 5pm - Takitumu v Otara Scorpions (NZ). Round 3, Friday, May 25 at Tupapa Field: 3pm - Central Chiefs v Otara Scorpions (NZ); 4pm - Mongoose v Takitumu; 5pm - Rutaki Sharks v Nga Tama (Australia).